Safety campaigners call for more to be done to tackle number of road deaths

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Safety campaigners say more needs to be done to tackle road deaths as it emerges there has been little change in the number of fatalities nationwide since 2011.

The new figures, released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show there were 1,730 people killed on Britain’s roads in 2015, and 149 in Yorkshire.

This is a fall of 45 across the country and nine regionally, but has been put down to “natural variation” by government statisticians.

Now, as it becomes apparent there is no clearer downward trend in the number of people being killed on the country’s roads, campaigners are calling on the Government to do more.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, claimed the figures show the need for more measures such as the recently announced plan to double the punishment for illegal mobile phone use by drivers.

“Humans remain the weakest link in road safety,” he said.

“In the decades ahead human error might be taken out of the equation by autonomous vehicles, but we can’t sit back and wait for that day when so many people are being killed and seriously injured on our roads right now.

“Ministers have suggested that they are willing to act, for example on mobile phone penalties. We need them to get on with it.”

The DfT’s road casualty figures showed that the number of seriously injured casualties in road traffic accidents last year fell by 2.9 per cent to 22,807.

In Yorkshire, that figure fell six per cent from 2,387 to 2,246.

Officials described the reduction as “ statistically significant”, adding that it probably reflects “genuine changes on British roads”.

The number of cyclist deaths in Yorkshire has risen by one in the past year. The number of cyclists seriously injured has fallen by five per cent and the total number of cyclist casualties has fallen by nine per cent.

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